Jane Smiley speaks out in The Huffington Post:
"Back in the year 2000, I believed almost without thinking about it that the US was a 'superpower', the only 'superpower' in the world. Maybe it was true and maybe it wasn't, but there was a lot of money around, Americans were pretty prosperous, and most people around the world had a benign view of the US.
Maybe the clearest sign of our 'superpower' status was that the right wing and the press could beat up on Bill Clinton with absolutely no effect on US power or the perception of US power. Beating up on Bill Clinton was a kind of parlor game that the participants cared about, but was in the end of no international import. The most surprising thing, then, about the last five years is how quickly and absolutely the US has ceased to be a superpower."
"It is obvious that George W. Bush is a small, shallow man, the son of a rather dumb and bumbling father and a blinkered, vindictive mother. That his nature and nurture have been visited upon the country as a whole is an interesting detail of our decline and fall."